Marguerite Humeau: Birth Canal
September 4, 2018 - January 6, 2019
For Birth Canal at the New Museum, Humeau studied the origins of Venus figurines, speculating that early modern humans may have ingested animal brains for their psychoactive effects: in this theory, Venus figurines functioned as recipes, marking out an anatomical guide for shamans and those seeking spiritual ecstasy through altered consciousness. In her installation, Humeau envisioned a scene from 150,000 years ago, when Mitochondrial Eve, the most recent matrilineal ancestor common to all humans, is estimated to have lived. Ten digitally rendered sculptures, meticulously realized in cast bronze or carved stone, beckon the viewer into a dark space that smells faintly sweet and mineral-like, its odor inspired by bodily liquids associated with birth.